‘An Appeal for Mercy’, 1793, Marcus Stone

(308) Contagion

My inhale is fire
Musk slipping on salted wounds
Across tired breath

My lungs are skittish
My chest hitches and lurches
Clutching fleeting musk

His wooded closeness
taunts my shy unsteady heart
creeps behind my eyes

Burns my lids like love
sears my neck like fevered yearn
glistens on my lips

Like cried hope and want
Aches along my hot bones like 
Peace never knew me

Wait no that’s not musk
That’s my husband’s fucking cold 
Crusted on my husk